Portugal have kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the next phase of Euro2012 courtesy of a late winner to beat Denmark 3-2 in Lviv.
After a fairly cagey beginning, Portugal found themselves in front when Joao Moutinho whipped in a front post corner for Pepe who got free of his marker and fired a powerful header past Danish keeper Stephan Andersen.
Just over ten minutes later, the Portuguese were two to the good when Helder Postiga netted his 20th international goal with a lovely stroked finish with the inside of his right boot at the near post from Nani’s low ball from the right side of the area.
It was looking to be one-way traffic for Paulo Bento’s men until Denmark gave themselves a lifeline when Nicklas Bendtner netted from close range in the 41st minute. It was a nice move from the Danes with Michael Krohn-Dehli cleverly nodding Jakob Poulsen’s bouncing ball across goal from the back post and into the path of the Arsenal man who did the rest with his head for his fifth goal in five appearances against Portugal.
Cristiano Ronaldo had two great chances to restore Portugal’s two-goal buffer during the second half, the second a one-on-one with Andersen which he put a metre wide, and those misses came back to bite him when Denmark equalized with ten minutes remaining. Lars Jacobsen advanced down the right before sending a perfect aerial ball for Bendtner who rammed his header home off Rui Patricio’s gloves and the upright.
Luckily for Ronaldo, however, Portugal managed a late winner through substitute Silvestre Varela who fired his second attempt at Fabio Coentrao’s leftwing cross straight past Andersen to give his side maximum points.
It sets up a tight finish in Group B as Germany, Portugal and Denmark are all now on three points ahead of the Germans clash with Holland later tonight.
Euro2012 – Group B
Denmark: 2 (Nicklas Bendtner 41’/80’)
Portugal: 3 (Pepe 24’, Helder Postiga 36', Silvestre Varela 87’)
Arena Lviv, Lviv